by
At issue was whether multiple felony convictions are authorized by Ind. Code 35-44.1-3-1 where a single act of resisting law enforcement while operating a vehicle causes the death of one person and serious bodily injuries to two other people. Defendant was convicted of multiple counts of felony resisting law enforcement. The felony convictions varied in levels - one conviction was a level three felony while two others were level five felonies. The Supreme Court reversed on two level five felony resisting law enforcement convictions and affirmed as to the remaining convictions, holding that Indiana’s resisting law enforcement statute, section 35-44.1-3-1, authorizes only one felony conviction - the highest chargeable offense - where a single act of resisting causes death and serious bodily injury. View "Edmonds v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
At issue was whether a defendant can be convicted of multiple felony resisting law enforcement charges when those charges stem from a single incident of resisting. Defendant pleaded guilty to three felony counts of resisting law enforcement and operating a vehicle with methamphetamine in his blood causing serious boldly injury. On appeal, Defendant argued that Indiana’s resisting law enforcement statute, Ind. Code 35-44.1-3-1, authorizes only one conviction for each act of resisting, and therefore, the trial court erred when it entered three convictions and sentences against him. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that section 35-44.1-3-1 authorizes only one conviction for felony resisting law enforcement where the defendant engages in a single act of resisting while operating a vehicle that causes multiple deaths. View "Paquette v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the Indiana Utility and Regulatory Commission (the Commission) in this appeal from the Commission’s decision authorizing a rate and charges increase lower than Hamilton Southeastern Utilities, Inc. (HSE) requested. HSE petitioned the Commission to approve an 8.42 percent increase in its charges. The Commission issued an order authorizing only a 1.17 percent increase in HSE’s rates and charges. HSE appealed, arguing that the Commission erred in excluding some expenses from its rates. The court of appeals granted HSE’s motion to dismiss the Commission, concluding that it was not a proper party to the appeal and then found that the Commission erred in excluding some expenses from HSE’s rates. The Supreme Court held (1) the Commission should not have been dismissed; (2) because the court of appeals found that the Commission acted arbitrarily in excluding SAMCO-related expenses from HSE’s rate calculation without giving the Commission an opportunity to defend its order, this issue must be reversed and remanded to the court of appeals with instructions to permit the Commission an opportunity to brief the issue; and (3) the remainder of the court of appeals’ opinion is summarily affirmed. View "Hamilton Southeastern Utilities, Inc. v. Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgments of the lower courts dismissing Defendant’s charge of voluntary manslaughter. In dismissing the charge, both of the lower courts found (1) the Criminal Rule 4(C) period within which to bring Defendant to trial had expired, and the delays in bringing him to trial were not attributable to Defendant; and (2) the prosecutorial misconduct in this case required dismissal. The Supreme Court remanded for the trial court to hold a hearing or proceed to trial, holding (1) the delays associated with Defendant’s interlocutory appeal and motion for change of judge were attributable to Defendant, and therefore, he was not entitled to a discharge pursuant to Rule 4(C); and (2) State v. Taylor, 49 N.E.3d 1019 (Ind. 2016), applies in this case, and outright dismissal is not the appropriate remedy for the State’s misconduct. View "State v. Larkin" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court summarily affirmed the parts of the opinion of the court of appeals that addressed and rejected J.R.’s challenge to a pat-down search and remanded to the juvenile court to vacate the delinquency adjudication for carrying a handgun without a license (CHWOL) and affirmed the delinquency adjudication for dangerous possession of a firearm, as all parties agreed that double jeopardy principles precluded J.R.’s dual adjudications. The juvenile court found sixteen-year-old J.R. delinquent for committing acts that would be dangerous possession of a firearm and CHWOL, had they been committed by an adult. On appeal, J.R. argued that a pat-down search violated his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches. The court of appeals concluded that the pat-down search was constitutional but that J.R.’s adjudication for CHWOL should be vacated on double jeopardy grounds. The Supreme Court affirmed. View "J.R. v. State" on Justia Law

by
The trial court did not err in admitting Defendant’s incriminating statements made in a motel room during the course of a custodial interrogation without an electronic recording of those statements. Defendant was charged with and convicted of several drug crimes. On appeal, Defendant argued that two post-Miranda self-incriminating statements he made to officers in a motel room should not have been admitted into evidence because no electronic recording of the statements was made available at trial, as required by Ind. R. Evid. 617. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that a motel room, as used by law enforcement in this case to carry out an undercover investigation and to search a suspect incident to his arrest, is not a place of detention as defined by Rule 617. View "Fansler v. State" on Justia Law

by
At issue was the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s preapproval of approximately $20 million in infrastructure investments, for which the Commission authorized increases to NIPSCO Industrial Group’s natural-gas rates under the mechanism implemented by the so-called “TDSIC” statute. Under the TDSIC statute, a utility can seek regulatory approval of a seven-year plan that designates eligible improvements followed by periodic petitions to adjust rates automatically as approved investments are completed. Some of the largest customers of NIPSCO, an energy utility with more than 800,000 customers in northern Indiana, opposed NIPSCO’s entitlement to favorable rate treatment under the TDSIC statute on the grounds that the disputed projects did not comply with the statute’s requirements. The Commission approved various categories of improvements but did not designate those improvements with specificity. The Supreme Court reversed the Commission’s order in part, holding (1) the TDSIC statute permits periodic rate increases only for specific projects a utility designates, and the Commission approves, at the outset in a utility’s seven-year-plan and not in later proceedings involving periodic updates; and (2) the Commission’s approval of “broad categories of unspecific projects defeats the purpose of having a ‘plan.’” View "NIPSCO Industrial Group v. Northern Public Service Co." on Justia Law

by
At issue was the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s preapproval of approximately $20 million in infrastructure investments, for which the Commission authorized increases to NIPSCO Industrial Group’s natural-gas rates under the mechanism implemented by the so-called “TDSIC” statute. Under the TDSIC statute, a utility can seek regulatory approval of a seven-year plan that designates eligible improvements followed by periodic petitions to adjust rates automatically as approved investments are completed. Some of the largest customers of NIPSCO, an energy utility with more than 800,000 customers in northern Indiana, opposed NIPSCO’s entitlement to favorable rate treatment under the TDSIC statute on the grounds that the disputed projects did not comply with the statute’s requirements. The Commission approved various categories of improvements but did not designate those improvements with specificity. The Supreme Court reversed the Commission’s order in part, holding (1) the TDSIC statute permits periodic rate increases only for specific projects a utility designates, and the Commission approves, at the outset in a utility’s seven-year-plan and not in later proceedings involving periodic updates; and (2) the Commission’s approval of “broad categories of unspecific projects defeats the purpose of having a ‘plan.’” View "NIPSCO Industrial Group v. Northern Public Service Co." on Justia Law

by
Custodial interrogation for purposes of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), at public schools requires police involvement, and so when school officials alone meet with students Miranda warnings are not required. After D.Z. was called into the office of the assistant principal of a high school he confessed to writing sexual graffiti on the school’s boys-bathroom walls. The State filed a delinquency petition alleging that D.Z. committed criminal mischief and harassment. The juvenile court found that D.Z. had committed criminal mischief. The Supreme Court reversed, finding that D.Z.’s statements to the assistant principal should have been suppressed because D.Z. was under custodial interrogation. The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals and affirmed the criminal-mischief adjudication, holding that D.Z. was not entitled to Miranda warnings because he was interviewed only by a school official - not by police. View "D.Z. v. State" on Justia Law

by
At issue in this case was when public school students are entitled to Miranda warnings at school. B.A., who was thirteen years old, was escorted from a school bus and questioned in a vice-principal’s office in response to a bomb threat on a bathroom wall. Three officers wearing police uniforms hovered over B.A. and encouraged him to confess. B.A. moved to suppress the evidence from his interview, arguing that he was entitled to Miranda warnings because he was under custodial interrogation and officers failed to secure waiver of his Miranda rights under Indiana’s juvenile waiver statute, Ind. Code 31-32-5-1. The juvenile court denied the motion and found B.A. delinquent for committing false reporting and institutional criminal mischief. The Supreme Court reversed B.A.’s delinquency adjudications, holding (1) B.A. was in police custody and under police interrogation when he made the incriminating statements; and (2) therefore, B.A.’s statements should have been suppressed under both Miranda and Indiana’s juvenile waiver statute. View "B.A. v. State" on Justia Law